Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Get in the Holiday Mood with Garth Brooks, R. Kelly and More

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Get in the Holiday Mood with Garth Brooks, R. Kelly and More

Article excerpt

Every year, more and more pop stars tackle the Christmas album, hoping to soothe your ears with cheery songs and create timeless holiday music of their own creation, like Mariah Carey did with "All I Want for Christmas Is You," released in 1994 but still popular today. Here are reviews of some of this year's.

'12 NIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS,' R. KELLY

Given R. Kelly's track record, you wouldn't be wrong to expect his first Christmas album to be raunchy. But R. Kelly always does the unexpected, and he delivers a surprise on "12 Nights of Christmas" with a charming collection of original songs that could be future Christmas classics.

The album starts off with "My Wish for Christmas," and it has nothing to do with bumping and grinding - it's a heartwarming, soulful plea for love and peace. There's a quick pivot to romance, though, with "Snowman," a sweet, innocent ditty about a search for the perfect woman made of snow.

That's not to say there isn't any sex talk, but it's not explicit, just PG-rated references to lovemaking that won't make Grandma blush.

'CHRISTMAS TOGETHER,' GARTH BROOKS AND TRISHA YEARWOOD

Country superstar Garth Brooks and his singer-songwriter wife Trisha Yearwood have each made Christmas albums, but they haven't teamed up on one - until now. "Christmas Together" is a unique selection of tracks that has the couple singing diverse songs instead of holiday classics. A highlight is a pair of Brooks and Yearwood duets on "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "I'm Beginning to See the Light."

Both artists also get a chance to shine. Brooks has a spirited version of "Feliz Navidad" and offers a duet with James Taylor on "What I'm Thankful For (The Thanksgiving Song)." Yearwood gives her signature country slow-song treatment to "The Man with the Bag" and has her own fun with "Santa Baby."

'ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS,' NEIL DIAMOND

With his gravelly voice, Neil Diamond sounds like one might imagine a crooning St. Nick - suffice to say, he sounds like Christmas. Perhaps that's why he's a regular at making holiday albums - "Acoustic Christmas" is his fourth. …

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